I am a regular education classroom teacher, and I’m trying to engage the students. By using technology and media we have the opportunity to have our produced content actually meet an interactive audience. So off we went. This particular class has “bought into” their education more than others and I wondered why. I wondered, what makes this class more responsive learners? Even though I have integrated a lot of media and technology over the years, this is the first year I have made our productions interactive from the internet. Our projects are shown on our local school network, broadcast on cable television and the Eastview website. This school year we have heard from complete strangers about our productions. The students take the comments very seriously and actively participate to brainstorm solutions or upgrades. They are aware that the world is watching. Besides performing, students are working as a team, setting goals and using technology. As for me, I have come to the understanding that this is exactly what this class needs. We all need and thrive from personal responses to our efforts, academic and otherwise. These are opportunities that matter to the students. Digital content creation is beneficial for them, but for me, I need to find some balance and a nap. http://www.d300.org/web/schoolsites/eastview/b.2320.html

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Comment by Sue Palmer on January 1, 2008 at 4:05pm
I can relate to everything you have said here, as well as the need for the nap! I launched my own site this year and I have similar experiences. I think it is a good lesson for all of us ( teachers and students) as we will be critiqued by others for the rest of our lives. That is part of life in all relationships! Some more public than others, but the goal is to achieve excellence. We do it because it is the right thing to do! The rest... we cannot control. I just do the best I can, keep an open mind, and try not to worry about the rest. Yes, they are out there...

Keep up the good fight! :)
Comment by Helen Otway on January 1, 2008 at 10:49pm
Hi Paul,

I also relate to what you are saying. Each year I like to provide my class with opportunities to tell a story or debate an issue through claymation. Each time we have had an audience, either other classes at school or parents, or both.

A couple of years ago (2005) my Grade 6 class were part of the 'Re@ct' film festival which meant that they would have a larger audience. Well, the thought of having other schools watching meant that they wanted to up the ante. This meant that hours and hours were spent on scripting, filming and editing. We even went into school on a weekend so as to meet our deadlines.

When the film festival night arrived, my students were pumped. They were so excitied and keen to share their movie. They took video cameras with them and a microphone and created a behind the scenes look at the film festival. They interviewed people and got feedback from the audience. All this was captured on their 'documentary' of the film night.

Later that year we were lucky enough to secure a profesional animator to work with us on a community project for the Commonwealth Games in 2006. We created a 4 minute claymation about sportsmanship called 'Reportable'. As it turned out the movie was screened as a preliminary to the Commonwealth Games in our local area, and is currently touring the world in The Little Big Shots film festival. It was even shown at the Melbourne International Animation Festival last year.

This sort of public viewing gave my students such acknowledgment for their work that otherwise they would not have achieved.

Great work Paul. Your kids will benefit heaps from the experiences you allow them.

Helen

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